The New York Times Style Magazine's November 30 issue features a celebration in words, photographs and video of 32 poets, novelists and playwrights whom the Times designates "Black Male Writers of Our Time," and two of the 32 are MMUF PhDs: the poets Jericho Brown and Rowan Ricardo Phillips. Dr. Brown, who was selected as an MMUF fellow as an undergraduate at Dillard University, is an associate professor of English at Emory University and the author of three volumes of poetry: Please (2008), The New Testament (2014), and the forthcoming The Tradition. Dr. Phillips was selected as a fellow at Swarthmore College and is now Professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook; his published poems include those collected in The Ground (2012) and Heaven (2015). The Times' cohort includes literary veterans like Ishmael Reed and George C. Wolfe alongside younger writers like Cornelius Eady and Jamel Brinkley. The Times brought all 32 writers together at the Brooklyn Historical Society for group and paired portraits (the photo above features Dr. Brown, left, with Wolfe); a number of the writers also speak or read on video.
Though the piece's focus is on the recent contributions of black male writers, the Times also asked members of the group to speak about their favorite works by black women writers. In a sidebar to the main article, Dr. Brown and Dr. Phillips can be heard reading from their choices - Lucille Clifton's poem "Cruelty" and Jamaica Kincaid's novel Annie John, respectively. Our warm congratulations to Drs. Brown and Phillips for the wide recognition their work is receiving!